A big change was to proportional representation for the jurisdictions. Each jurisdiction is to have basic representation, but then there are additional members (at large members). The guidelines of the petition before us said that those members of the agency would be apportioned to the jurisdictions based on the membership size of the jurisdictions. (In effect, the Southeastern Jurisdiction, the largest American jurisdiction, would have more members on the boards and agencies.) The amendment before us was to remove the proportional representation from the legislation.
One speaker said that proportional representation was not fair representation. I think it is. We had in the legislation the concept that every area has basic representation (like our US Senate) so that then the at-large members could be apportioned the way we do representation in the US House of Representatives. I spoke against the amendment.
Whether my speech helped or hurt, I do not know, but the amendment failed and the legislation was approved. I was pleased with the outcome, but as I sat in my chair afterwards, I realized there were many people who felt (even if the facts said otherwise) they would be “left out.” I wondered how I could have been more gracious to acknowledge this in speaking for my position.
Well, I know you just have to do the best you can do in these situations and then let it go. But I also know we have many sensitive issues still ahead of us and some of them carry strong emotional attachments. I know also we have to speak what we feel is right. So my prayer for myself, and for all of us: God, give us to speak words that are strong in understanding, mighty in truth, and soothing in grace, Amen.
On a more positive note, I stayed at the lunch break for the communion service, held in the center of the convention hall. It was renewing to break bread in that small group of fellow disciples from all over the world.
Come to the Lord's Table, all you who love him.
Come to the Lord's Table, confess your sin.
Come to the Lord's Table, be at peace.